6.5/10
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30 user 5 critic

Toward the Unknown (1956)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | October 1956 (USA)
At the dawn of supersonic flight in the 1950s a group of Edwards Air Force Base experimental aircraft test pilots push themselves to the limit.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Maj. Lincoln Bond
...
Brig. Gen. Bill Banner
Virginia Leith ...
Connie Mitchell
...
Col. 'Mickey' McKee
...
Maj. Bromo Lee
...
Lt. Gen. Bryan Shelby
...
Lt. Col. Joe Craven
...
2nd Lt. Sweeney
...
Polly Craven
Bartlett Robinson ...
Senator Black
...
Hank - Bell Technical Rep.
...
Harvey Gilbert
Maura Murphy ...
Sarah McKee
Carol Kelly ...
Debbie
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Storyline

USAF Major Lincoln Bond is captured, tortured and released from a POW camp in Korea. After the war he returns to the US where he is re-assigned as a test pilot at the Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base. The Air Force is testing the new experimental aircraft Gilbert XF-120 fighter. The acceptance of the new aircraft by the Air Force is dependent on successful tests designed to prove the aircraft's reliability and safety. However, when Major Bond flies the prototype he encounters a problem that points out a dangerous structural flaw. This could threaten the aircraft's acceptance by the Air Force and derail the whole project. Major Bond's commanding officer and some of his colleagues start to suspect that Major Bond is imagining things because of his mental condition dating back to his imprisonment and torture in the Korean POW camp. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The screen's first story of man-piloted rocket ships, U.S.A.! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Einst kommt die Stunde  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Gilbert XF-120" is actually the prototype Martin XB-51, an unsuccessful tactical bomber design. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film when Bond observes General Banner crash his aircraft, it's referred to as an "F-102". In reality the hulk that Banner is pulled from is a Convair XF-92, the experimental predecessor to the F-102 Delta Dagger. See more »

Quotes

Brig. Gen. Bill Banner: [to Maj. Lincoln Bond] Even with torture, you're not the kind to crack.
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Connections

Referenced in The Story of Esther Costello (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

The U.S. Air Force
by Robert Crawford
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User Reviews

Somebody needs to release this movie to video or DVD!!!
1 August 2002 | by (Quincy, FL USA) – See all my reviews

As a life-long military aviation buff,this is one of my favorite movies. Other reviewers here have mentioned that it contains a few technical inaccuracies and some formulaic characters and plot devices.This is true, but it is a piece of '50s film-making and some of that is to be expected.It has also been mentioned as a great companion piece to "The Right Stuff", with which I wholly agree. In 1984, when seeing TRS for the first time, I thought "The folks who made this obviously saw "Toward the Unknown" and copied some of its style", especially in the scenes where aircraft are shown from above climbing towards the camera with the desert in the background. One reviewer refers to the "fictitious bomber" in the movie. The bomber was quite real, being the XB-51, which was tested but never adopted for service. I've always been a fan of the "X" series of rocket planes and the pilots who flew them, and the inclusion of the beautiful, dart-like Bell X-2 in this film is one of its highlights for me. About fifteen years ago I had a taped from TV copy of this movie that I got off of TBS or TNT, but it is long since bit the dust. I'd dearly love to have it on DVD.


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